Creating Your Unique Selling Proposition
Every time someone is in the process of making a decision to purchase something, there are about a dozen questions that run through their mind, either consciously, or subconsciously…
“Do I want the benefits of this product or service?” Don’t try to sell me an insurance policy, a car or a refrigerator; those are the last things I want to spend my money on.
“Is this the right product or service to solve my needs or problems?” There are many selections out there. What makes this particular one right for me?
“Is this the right company, producer or manufacturer to purchase this product or service from?” There are a lot of options to consider. Why this particular one?
“Is this the right place of business…the right store, shop or agency to buy from?” Again, lots of choices. What makes yours so special and why should I consider it?
“Are you the right person to buy it from?” My brother-in-law sells the same product. Why should I buy from you? Do you have testimonials or proof sources from others who have purchased from you? What extra-mile things can I expect from you that I won’t get from anyone else?
“Is this the right price to pay for this product or service?” Am I getting the best value for the money you’re asking me to spend with you? Can I get a better price for the same product or benefits elsewhere? If you’re charging me more than your competitor, why should I pay your price?
“Is this the right time to buy or invest in this product?” What if I put off my decision for a month, six months, a year or more? How will that affect me? I heard there may be some sales, rebates, incentives, or discounts coming up. If I buy now and the price is lowered, will I be able to take advantage of the new lower prices, or will I be stuck?
“How do I pay for it?” Do I have to pay the entire amount upfront? Can I make monthly payments? How much is the service charge or interest? Do you take credit cards?
“What if this product or service is not right for me? What if I don’t like it, or I don’t want it? What if I change my mind?” Do you have a trial period? If so, how long is it? What if I find a better or cheaper price elsewhere or I just don’t want it anymore? Can I return the product or cancel this service or contract and get a refund?
“How can I be assured that I’m getting the absolute best value for the money I’m about to spend?” I work hard for my money. It doesn’t come easy. If I spend it with you, what assurances do I have that I’ve made the right decision? My friend says he’s doing business with one of your competitors and he paid much less for the same product. Am I about to make the right choice? How can I know for sure?
“Why should I do business with you, instead of any and all other options I have…including doing nothing at all?” Give me in one sentence a concise statement as to why doing business with you is the best choice I have. Buying insurance, a car, home, appliance, holiday package, new machinery or equipment is a serious proposition and my money is valuable to me. How can I be assured that doing business with you is the absolute best choice I have?
“What are the most common mistakes other people make when buying this type of product or service?” I don’t want to make a mistake, look foolish, or lose my money. What foolish or uninformed decisions do others make when buying this type of product?
“How can I avoid making those same mistakes?” Put my fears to rest. Make me totally and completely comfortable in my decision to spend my money with you for this product or service at this time.
Let’s go back and revisit point number 11 for a minute. What makes you so special? What makes you different? What makes you unique? Why should I spend my money with you rather than all the other choices I have? What can I get from you that I can’t get from anyone else who sells the same product or service…or at least a reasonable substitute?
This may or may not have anything to do with something that is ‘tangible’. Nevertheless, it’s still a question that needs to be answered in the mind of the potential buyer.
Here’s a simple test you can perform. Ask any business owner, any manager, any entrepreneur or any professional why you should do business with them and you’ll most likely get an answer somewhere along the lines of, “Because we offer the highest quality products, the best service, the fastest delivery and the lowest prices around.”
Now really, what do you learn from that kind of statement? Does an answer like that compel you to want to know more? To nearly force you to get out of your chair, pick up the phone and call? To get in your car and drive to the place of business? To fill out and mail the response card? Or, is it just another ‘ho hum – so what?’ statement that you’ve heard so many times before from countless other businesses?
You see, if you’re in business and are in any way responsible for attracting new customers to your place of business and you don’t have a ready, clear and a compelling answer as to why someone should do business with you and not your competitors, then your business is in big trouble.
Competition in business today is so keen, products and services are so similar and prices are so cut-throat, that it’s difficult, in fact nearly impossible in almost any industry…in nearly any business or profession to maintain, for any predictable length of time, a competitive advantage, because of the products or services you offer, or the prices you charge.
If You Keep On Doing What You’ve Always Done, You’ll Keep On Getting What You’ve Always Got
The simple truth is, that if you can’t give your prospects and customers clear and compelling reasons to do business with you, then you can never expect your business to be any better than any of your competition.
And you’ll be just another ‘me, too’ business…at least in the eyes of your customers. Since they’re the ones with the money, isn’t that the only place it matters?
You see, if you expect people to do business with you rather than your competition, it’s imperative that you have something to offer your customers and prospects that your competition doesn’t have. Preferably something your competition can’t offer.
Something that sets you or your business apart from everyone else in your industry or profession.
Whatever that ‘something’ is you need to identify it, quantify it and then to articulate it.
That ‘something’ I’m talking about is what’s known as your Unique Selling Proposition, or your USP.
It’s your defined statement of what makes your business stand out and makes you unique, compared to all the other competition in your industry or profession and it’s what gives you your advantage.
Now, do you want to hear something exciting? Most of your competition doesn’t have a clue how to do this. In fact, very few of them have even heard of this concept.
That little test I mentioned a minute ago will prove that. Yet it’s paraded before them several times a day by any number of different companies.
You’ve no doubt heard the USP that Domino’s Pizza used when they were building their multi-billion dollar company…“Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less…guaranteed.”
Or Federal Express when they say, “When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.”
How about M&Ms…“Melt in your mouth, not in your hand.”
Or this one, “You won’t find air bags as standard equipment in those Japanese cars. Only in Chryslers.”
Those USPs, clearly position those businesses as being different from their competition and if you want the benefits they promise, there’s only one company that can provide them.
That’s a strategy you need to incorporate in your business. Lead your customers and prospects to the inescapable and undeniable conclusion that your business is not only the logical consideration, but the only consideration for them.
In essence, what you want them to say is, “I would have to be an absolute fool to even consider doing business with anyone else but you, regardless of the prices you charge, regardless of your location, or the relationship I have with my current supplier.”
Coming up with your own USP doesn’t have to be difficult. But whatever you choose to use, remember, it’s got to be perceived as desirable and unique to your marketplace.
In other words, your prospects and customers have to consider it to be of value to them.
We have a comprehensive multi-step process that will help you develop a well thought-out and clearly defined statement of benefit that sets you apart from any and all competition you may have.
In fact, after clearly identifying your target market (the ideal people/businesses to target in your marketing), creating the UPB is the next thing we do for our clients – it’s that important.
Admittedly doing this on your own isn’t easy, but when you have the tools and the processes as we do, creating a magnetic-like UPB is relatively simple. Then as soon as we start using your UPB in everything we do for you, the results will speak for themselves!
The Differentiating Factor Between Your Business And Your Competitors Is What Attracts Prospects To You, And What Converts Prospects Into Customers
Because this area of positioning is such a critical part of an effective marketing program, you should learn as much about it as you can, and do whatever it takes to properly position yourself in the minds of your customers.
Here are a couple of things you can do immediately to get you started:
First, look around and find a need, a want, or a void or a problem somewhere in your industry or profession, and then figure out how to fill it or solve it.
Before Domino’s came on the scene you either had to go out and pick up your own pizza, or if you did have it delivered it was cold when you got it. Domino’s solved the problem by delivering your pizza while it was hot and fresh…and you got it in 30 minutes or it was free.
Now the second thing you can do is ask your customers directly, why they do business with you. It may be that you’re already providing something that no one else is and you’re not getting credit for it. By uncovering their reasons, you can now define them and begin advertising and promoting them as benefits to others.
Another thought is that you might find a feature or a benefit that all businesses in your industry or profession provide, but because everyone else provides it, no one else promotes it (that’s why we prefer to call the Unique Selling Proposition the Unique Perceived Benefit).
Well, if you jump on that and begin promoting it as if you’re the only one who does this…even though everyone else can or does…you’ll have the upper hand.
This is called ‘preemptive marketing’. It’s being the first one to promote, or to tell your customers and prospects about a particular benefit.
The third thing you might do is consider asking your customers what your competitors do that turns them off. This might provide an additional opening that you can jump on and begin to use to your advantage.
Fourth, talk with your employees. Find out from them what’s good about your company and find out what some of the downsides are. They might even be able to provide some insight into the positives and negatives of your competition.
There are many more ideas we could discuss in even greater detail, but we don’t have room or time to discuss here. But at least these ideas can get you started.
Once you have clearly defined your USP or UPB…why your prospects and customers should only consider your company and not anyone else…use this statement in everything you do…in all your marketing efforts, in all your promotions, in all your communications, in every contact you have with your marketplace.
This one concept…and I can’t stress this enough…is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. It’s so critical and so important to get it right, because this one statement sums up what your whole business is about.
Whatever you do take the time…make the time…and put together a clear, concise and effective USP/UPB.